This is a serious question that cannot be easily answered.
The first question you need to ask yourself is why did you look at this other company and why did you let it get to an offer stage if you were not serious about leaving?
Were you unhappy with your superior?
Were you underappreciated and underpaid?
Was your career path blocked?
Did you have concerns about the future of your employer?
Do you have an especially high regard for the prospective employer?
Before you accept your current employer’s counter offer, you seriously need to think about what has really changed with that counter offer that will make you happy. It may be easy to go back home and tell the family that you will not need to relocate because your employer made all kinds of promises and rewarded you with extra compensation. But, if conditions were bad enough to make you look elsewhere, there is little chance that things have changed significantly.
The truth is that most employees who accept a counter offer from their current employer usually leave the company within two years.
Why? In my experience there are several reasons.
Your current employer may never fully trust you again. Because you got to the stage of an offer, there is suspicion that you traded too much secret information.
Your employer also may believe you will leave again in the future. So, favored appointments will tend to go to those in the organization that have earned management’s trust.
If you were transferred away from a superior you did not like, that executive usually remains with the organization and will become a political opponent.
If you were disillusioned with your company’s future, the likelihood of that changing is minimal.
My advice to any executive is that you should not seriously look at other career opportunities if you fully believe your career is on track. Why jeopardize your role with your current employer and why create a reason for your employer to have less reason to trust and invest in your development?
On the other hand, if you feel that your advancement is blocked or if you have reservations about your employer’s future, you should actively look for other opportunities and be committed to the change.